Rory McIlroy birdied the final five holes at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship as the top-ranked golfer held off a late challenge from Justin Rose to win in Dubai.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy, who finished atop the European and U.S. money lists this year, had a 6-under-par 66 in yesterday’s final round at the Jumeirah Golf Estates for a 23- under total. England’s Rose was two shots back after a course- record 62.
“I couldn’t have wished for the season to end any better,” McIlroy, 23, told reporters. “Coming here with the Race to Dubai wrapped up, I wanted to win the tournament trophy too and that’s what I’ve done.”
England’s Luke Donald, No. 2 in the World Golf Ranking, tied for third with Charl Schwartzel of South Africa on 18- under. Donald, 34, had been tied for the lead with McIlroy after the third round.
The 32-year-old Rose became the biggest threat to McIlroy with a round that included eight birdies and an eagle. He fell just short, although his second-place finish lifts the Englishman to a career-high fourth in the rankings.
McIlroy ends the year with five wins, including two on the European Tour. His other victories were at the Honda Classic, U.S. PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship.
He tops the Race to Dubai, the European Tour’s money list, with a record 5.52 million euros ($7.16 million). Yesterday’s victory was worth 1.04 million euros.
The European Tour yesterday announced its 2013 schedule, which will feature a minimum of 45 events. It will end in Dubai with the DP World Tour Championship on Nov. 14-17, part of a new four-event “The Final Series,” with combined prize money of $30.5 million.
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